FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
July 1, 2008 Contact: William Gerrish
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Contact: Dr. Louis Magnarelli
Hartford – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in Bridgeport on June 24, 2008 have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first WNV-positive mosquitoes identified in Bridgeport by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.
So far this summer, positive mosquitoes have been identified in two towns – Bridgeport and Stonington. In both locations the infected mosquito species was Culex salinarius, a mosquito species especially abundant in coastal salt marshes and one of the species that has been identified with WNV in Connecticut in prior years. During 2007, WNV was identified in mosquitoes in 18 towns.
“We want Connecticut’s residents and visitors to enjoy our beautiful state. At this time, it is important to realize that mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, and that simple measures will minimize exposure to mosquitoes that can carry the virus,” stated Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, MD, MPH, MBA. “In addition, we urge people to look for and empty standing water in and around their homes.”
To monitor WNV, the CAES maintains a network of 91 mosquito-trapping stations in 72 municipalities throughout the state from June through October. Mosquito traps are set every ten days at each site on a rotating basis. Mosquitoes are grouped (pooled) for testing according to species, collection site, and date.
For information on West Nile virus and what you can do to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program Web site at www.ct.gov/mosquito.